In this ICCI heritage project, members of the Islay Visual Arts Group met with Gaelic speakers and singers, who shared their knowledge of Gaelic songs and poems; the purpose of this was to learn and understand compositions by Islay Bards.
Following this interpretation of Gaelic work the artists created paintings which went on display and sale here at the Centre. On the opening night of the Art Exhibition a wealth of Islay’s talent sang, recited and interpreted songs and poems written by Bards from Islay’s rich Gaelic heritage:- Duncan Johnston (1881 – 1947), Charles MacNiven (1874 – 1944), Duncan MacNiven (1880 – 1955), William Livingston (1808 – 1870).
The celebration of Gaelic Bards had great pleasure in welcoming a living Islay Bard, Lily MacDougall better known as “Lily Fish”. Some of the many talents of this local piper were enjoyed through recital of her poems and viewing the paintings and needlework she had on display. The audience was also enthralled to know they were sitting in company with the relatives of Duncan Johnston and Bàird Chille-Chomain.
The whole project was only possible thanks to the hard work of the members of the Islay Visual Arts Group and the dedication of Miss Morag MacDougall, Mrs. MA Mactaggart and Mrs. Cath Crawford who shared their knowledge of the Gaelic Bards.